It has been over twenty years since the release of the landmark Bringing Them Home report and more than a decade since the National Apology was delivered by then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to Stolen Generations survivors – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who have suffered as the result of past government policies and practices of forced child removal and assimilation. Acknowledging the wrongs of the past was a significant milestone in the history of our nation, but there is still much work to be done to heal the enduring trauma experienced by survivors, families and communities. After two decades, the majority of the Bringing Them Home recommendations have not been implemented, adding to ongoing distress.
In the meantime, this inaction fails to address the escalating national crisis involving continuing removal of indigenous children from their families. What is the nation’s plan for healing this pain; are we any closer to needs-based funding and a financial redress scheme, dealing with intergenerational trauma and establishing an appropriate policy response? What is the way ahead for the ‘unfinished business’ in the long journey towards healing?